Depressed spouse

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blueskies
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/22/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I am new to this site. I am living with a depressed husband. He has been taking meds for a year and a half and going to counseling for about 2 years. In that time, he was passed over for a major promotion, his father died, he tore his rotator cuff, he retired, I got fired (long story there) and I started a new job. High stress! He has fought with suicidal thoughts and about three weeks ago let me know that he had a plan. I called his therapist and took him to the hospital. We waited in the emergency room for 8 hours before he was taken to the mental health unit. The next day he told me that they were planning to release him the next day. I went to the nurse's station and told them that I needed to talk to the doctor to see what the follow-up plan would be and what I could expect in the way of improvement. I was told that the doctor does not meet with the family but the social worker would call and set up a time to meet with me. Late the next morning, the social worker called to set up a meeting and told me that he had been released that morning. He was supposed to call me to tell me, but he told them that he thought it was too soon and then laid in bed until I showed up. He is on several medications and going to an out-patient clinic three mornings a week. Sunday (yesterday) he was in bed all day. I am trying to be supportive and try to nudge him into doing small things to help himself. He keeps talking about what terrible choices he has made and the disrepair of the house and the mess our finances are in. (We've all made bad choices - his are not at all dramatic, we need to upgrade the storage in our laundry room, and while we are making much less now than we were making a year ago, we'll be fine.) I have tried the approach of having him be specific instead of globalizing, of refuting his statements, of using reflective listening, and of asking him to think of one small thing he could do to fix things. His meds have been changed. I am getting weekly counseling, friends are calling him to show interest and concern. Meanwhile, I am doing most of what needs to be done to maintain the household, being his cheerleader and companion, and learning a new job. I feel like I'm competing with a stronger, more conniving contender for his attention and affection. That contender is depression ad it is much more powerful than I am. I've read the above mentioned articles and am reading one of the books. I am the keeper of the light at the end of the tunnel but the fuel is being depleted and the light grows dimmer. This is not an uplifting post. I apologize. I just needed to vent. Thank you.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 9/22/2008 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Blueskies and welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you are doing everything possible to help your husband. Do not dispair. This does take time and patience. You are doing fine. Though I know it probably doesn't feel like it right now. Just don't give up.

Keep posting for we are here to help in anyway that we can. You have come to a good place and I am sure that things are going to get better for you.

Keep trying, and keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


ksufan
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/22/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi blueskies,

I am new here too.  I am posting more for the fact to let you know that you are not alone.  Long story short-my husband is also depressed and was planning to commit suicide last week. He came back from Iraq in May and so is dealing with ptsd and severe depression.  I had the police find him because he wouldn't tell me where he was and they took him to the hospital.  He was transferred to a psych unit and stayed for two days.  He is home now, but in a very fragile state.  He is taking his meds, but they obviously are not in effect yet.  I am completely and utterly drained, so I understand where you are coming from.  We have three kids so now I am responsible for not only their well-being, but my husband's as well.  My best advice to you is to reach out to friends, family, your pastor, or whoever can be there to listen to you.  Also, get some books and read up on depression.  You may have already done all that, but that's what I am doing right now to get by.  I think it just helps to know you are not alone, which is why I am on here in the first place!  I hope for the best for you and your husband.  I know I would not wish this situation on anyone.  It is by far the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my life.  But just know there are others out there walking through the same crappy situation.  Good luck to you!


ksufan
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/22/2008 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
"I am the keeper of the light at the end of the tunnel but the fuel is being depleted and the light grows dimmer."

Forgot to say that I can totally relate to that statement! I know exactly how you feel. I think I would like to have just five minutes where somebody doesn't NEED me. And never apologize for venting. That is why we are here.

blueskies
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/22/2008 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   
ksufan,
Thank you for your kind words. Both of my daughters are grown. They have been great support. You have your hands full. Good luck to you also.

blueskies
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/23/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Once again, I am frustrated. I went to a meeting My husband set up for us with his new counselor. I wanted to know how much to expect from my husband and what my role should be. I came away with the realization that all that is expected at this point is for him to stay alive, attend his morning counseling sessions and take his meds. I realize that all of these are very important, positive steps but I hate to see this man shrink from all contact with people he knows and beating himself up for perceived failures. I was also very unimpressed with the therapist. The man avoided eye contact, made assumptions, and obviously didn't pick up on husband's body language or hear what he said. Husband likes the therapist so I did not share my disappointments with him. I miss his former therapist. He could no longer see him because that therapist was contracted through a wellness program from husband's former place of employment. I don't want my husband to think that I'm disinterested (Would this feed into suicidal thoughts?) I want him to start having some joy in his life.(I would settle for an unagonized minute or two at this point). I have to focus on my job! I've dropped the ball on a couple of things already. We do need this income. I work from my home so I am feeling very isolated. I am arranging get-togethers with some of my friends. Other friends are calling to check in with me. I still feel very alone and wondering how much longer I can keep it together. Then there are the moments where real self-pity sets in. Yesterday he called to let me know that he was on his way home from his counseling session. It was lunch time. I asked him to go through one of the drive-throughs that he would pass and pick up a sandwich for me from the value meal. He thought I was kidding. I assured him that I was not. He pointed out that we had bread and sandwich fixings at home. I told him that he was right but that I really just wanted this sandwich. There was such a long silence that I finally said that he was right. We could just make our own sandwiches. It took me a while before I could let go of the idea that with all I've done, he could have spent 99 cents on a sandwich for me. I later was able to see that going through the drivethrough would have been stressful for him and that I am being very careful about what I'm eating and the sandwich I wanted really didn't fit in with healthy eating but it took me quite a while before I could take this viewpoint. (In fact the "I'm worth a 99 cent sandwich!" thought is still winning out. It's hard to be a grown-up.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/23/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Yes you are worth a 99 cent sandwich but I agree this could have been a chore he could not face right now. Remember you have to take care of you and don't judge how much he cares because he wouldn't get the sandwich.
 
It is very difficult to be the spouse but you are doing a good job. The sad part is there are no quick cures.
 
Remember you are a good and kind person, you can validate your own feelings.  Take time for you.
Gentle Hugs
Kitt
 

 
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


ksufan
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/23/2008 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the thing I am having the hardest time right now with is that I feel completely smothered!  My husband has said he cannot live without me so when we are together he needs to be by me all the time and when we are apart, he is constantly texting me.  I cannot catch a break and it is making me very grouchy.  I know we are still in the early stages of all of this, but I cannot get any space!  Does anybody else have this same problem?  It is affecting my work and very much affecting my mood.  I want to be there for him, but it's like I am his security blanket right now. 

blueskies
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/24/2008 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
We went through a long period of this. Every move I made carried the weight of two people. I had to set up time for me to be by myself even if it was just to sit on the porch and drink a cup of tea. Take care of yourself.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/24/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   

ksufan

Good Morning.  The first thing I would do would be to lose the text messaging and turn your phone off when your at work.  Try sitting down with your husband and tell him how you feel.

My first husband followed me around.............everyone needs some space to just be alone.  Also the texting must interefer with your job.

Take care

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/24/2008 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning to you and I am glad you are taking care of yourself.
 
I just dropped in to let you know we all support you and I wish you peace on this wonderful day.
 
Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


blueskies
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/24/2008 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt,
Thank you. It was actually my daughter that got me to see that I was allowing depression to run the household. I was afraid to leave him by himself for fear that he would hurt himself.
I was just so amazed that my husband's counselor told him that it was all right for hime to spend the day in bed. It worked well though. It was like letting a kid eat all the candy available (or a self-pitying adult eat all the 99 cent sandwiches she can eat). The kid, the adult suffer the consequences. He felt miserable and was wishing he was done with life. We talked about other choices that could be made and that even though it is difficult to do things when depression has such a tight, heavy grip on you, you have to take the small steps.
He is feeling not so miserable today and has set a goal for this afternoon. He is going to start charting his successes at the end of the day. I am able to concentrate on my work and am starting to catch up. I am feeling optimistic. It is good to have a place to vent. I appreciate it.

ksufan
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/24/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear that your husband is trying to start taking small steps to get better and that you are catching up on your work! That is great! Especially that you are feeling optimistic! I have about a million things to vent about and things that I question, but don't have that much time in the day to type it all. I am lucky in that I have a job where I work for a non-profit and am the sole employee, so I have a lot of flexibility to do what I need to do, but I still have a job to get done in the office. However, the problem is that I feel like I have to text him back every time because when I don't, he seems to start panicking. I am hoping that this will get better over time, especially once the medicine kicks in. He said he wanted to talk about some things tonight, so I am thinking that I will bring it up then. I want to be there to help, but I don't want to be an enabler and shield him from everything. Ultimately, he does have to deal with this on his own. I can support him, but I know I can't do it for him. His first appt. with the therapist is next Monday, so once he starts going to those appointments, I am hoping to see at least a little bit of progress start. I know this cannot be fixed overnight and that we have a long road ahead. The hard thing for me is all the spectrum of feelings that I am dealing with, from fear and anger at him to pity and love. I know it's probably all normal. I am thinking I might try to start going to a counselor myself to deal with it all. Blueskies, do you go to a counselor for you? I am trying to find some time to do things for myself, but it is very hard with three boys and a job and a depressed husband to take care of. There just doesn't seem to be any place to fit it in!! Somebody always needs me for something. I never thought I would get tired of being needed, but I am so there. Writing on this forum is about all I do for me now with the exception of phone calls here and there. After our crisis situation last week, I am tired of being on the phone because that is all I did for 5 days straight. We have good friends and family to support us and I know that once my husband is in a less fragile state, it will get easier and I will be able to take some time for myself. This stage is just very, very hard!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 9/24/2008 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Blueskies and Ksufan,

I think that it would be a good idea to go to a counselor for both of you. You will learn to think outside of the box. Sometimes you just have to let the depressed person be depressed for a while. Small tasks can become so difficult for that person. Sometimes they have to just rest for a while and then start from scratch. This is neither easy or fast. It really does take baby steps.

You are both doing a really good job, and I know that it is a difficult task on your part. But you don't have to feel responsible for the other person's recovery. They have to do it themselves. That should be a weight lifted off of your shoulders. You can be supportive though when needed.

You don't have to feel like you are enabling them either by letting them stay in bed for a day here and there, it is all a part of the healing process. I spent two years in bed due to fibromyalgia and depression. There were times when I wouldn't even answer the phone or go to the door. There are no time limits on this and no speedy recoveries. Everything has to go at it's own pace and both you and your partner have to take life one day at a time.

I have to give the two of you a huge amount of credit for dealing with what you have been. It does effect the whole family. I would recommend counseling to both of you. One to understand what is going on with your partners and two, for support for yourselves. And coming here also helps. I am happy that you have found eachother and can help eachother. I know that it is hard to watch your partner be sad all of the time, but they will get through this and so will you. It just takes love and patience. And understanding for all. You both have been traveling a rough road. And I have to say again that I am glad that you found eachother and have found healingwell. We are here for you.

Best wishes
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


nickysam
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/25/2008 2:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Loneliness can play a major role in the development of depressive illness.If you suspect your spouse is suffering from depression, encourage your spouse to seek the help of a doctor, psychologist, or a pastor or other religious leader. Counseling and/or medication are crucial in overcoming depression.
------------------------
Nickysam

Nicky, Please change you profile to remove the link from you name.  I was not able to check this site but I suspect from the name it may be against our rules.  Please review our rules before posting.
Thak you
Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 9/25/2008 3:34:14 AM (GMT-6)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/25/2008 2:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Blueskies and Ksufan,

Your posts were great and I am glad to see you both making plans and understanding that you must take care of yourselves too.

Karen has adviced you well and I agree with her advice and words of wisdom.

Take care and know I am thinking of you

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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